On March 8, Canelo Alvarez returned from losing to boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr., scoring an emphatic 10th-round stoppage against former junior middleweight contender Alfredo Angulo.
With that win in the books Alvarez (43-1-1, 31 knockouts) decided to take on dangerous former Cuban amateur standout Erislandy Lara. Alvarez and Lara, THE RING’s Nos. 1 and 2-rated junior middleweights, fight this Saturday in a Showtime Pay Per View headliner from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“I feel Lara is one of the most dangerous fighters if not the most dangerous fighter at 154 (pounds),” Canelo told RingTV.com from his training base in San Diego, Calif., through translator Manny Duran. “He’s (one of the most) prominent (fighters) in the division.”
At the press conference to announce the fight, Golden Boy Promotions President Oscar De La Hoya spoke glowingly of Canelo:
“(He) was willing to take this chance. That’s what Canelo is all about, the opportunity to fight one of the best at 154 pounds. That’s what fighting is all about, and that’s what the character of this young fighter here is all about – fighting the very best.”
The 23-year-old Mexican star is currently ranked No. 2 at junior middleweight by the WBC, WBA and WBO.
Along with Canelo-Lara, the event dubbed “Honor & Glory” is supported by the return of Abner Mares against Jonathan Oquendo in a 10-round featherweight bout, and veteran JuanMa Lopez vs. unbeaten prospect Francisco Vargas in an intriguing crossroads fight at junior lightweight. Rounding out the card is Mauricio Herrera challenge Johan Perez for the WBA’s “interim” junior welterweight crown.
Anson Wainwright – What are your thoughts on facing Lara?
Canelo Alvarez – I feel Lara is one of the most dangerous fighters if not the most dangerous fighter at 154 (pounds). He’s (one of the most) prominent (fighters) in the division. He is a great fighter, a great boxer, a tough fighter, but I have fought against all styles.
I took this fight because the fans wanted it, and after I kept reading and hearing interviews with Lara about how badly he wanted this fight. He said some bad things about me on Twitter and social media. I’m a Mexican, and I know all the tricks. You can’t say the kinds of things he said. So I’m going to please the fans and myself by fighting him.
AW – When you look at Lara as a fighter what do you see as his strengths and areas of weakness?
CA – One of the things I learned is that when you get him against the ropes he doesn’t have the movement and that is something we’ll look at.
CA – It was an interesting fight, for sure. Different styles make a good fight so I had to stop and think of that and make it a different type of fight.
CA – Everything happens for a reason. I got a lot of experience from fighting Floyd, experience to keep on winning.
CA – I had a good upbringing. I’m from a really small town in Guadalajara. I grew up selling popsicles. I had a happy childhood.
CA – My older brother took me to boxing because I always wanted to do it. I got really interested and dropped out of school when I was 15 and dedicated full time to boxing.
AW – When you look at the junior middleweight division what are your thoughts?
CA – It a very competitive division, there is a lot of competition.
CA – Yes, but I feel comfortable at the weight I’m at. Maybe when I get a little older but right now I’m young, I feel comfortable at this weight right now.
CA – History, I want to make history. I want to go down in the history of boxing. I want my name to come up as one of the great ones.
CA – I’m not worried about it. The lawyers are taking care of it. I have a court date, I have nothing to be scared of. The lawyers will take care of that.
CA – I like good company, I like to talk a lot. No drinking or partying. I like racing cars, I like motor racing.
CA – I grew up looking up to Julio Cesar Chavez, Muhammad Ali and one of the great ones, Oscar De La Hoya.
CA – No, I have nothing to say. I am training hard, I’ll be ready. At the end, words are words, they don’t mean anything.
Video by Daniel Morales
Photo gallery by Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at email@example.com and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright